September 13, 2013

The Importance of Prayer

O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man."  —Nehemiah 1:11

Father in heaven, we call upon You today. We know that You are the Giver of all good things . . . and that You never change like shifting shadows. We believe that Your heart is moved when Your people pray. So remind us, our Father, as we bow before You, that there is nothing more important we can do when facing situations that are beyond us . . . than to pray.

We remember that prayer forces us to wait, and we must learn to wait patiently for Your timing. Prayer quiets our hearts before You. The chaos subsides and life seems to settle down around us as we pray. Prayer clears our vision, Father, as we think about our lives, as we ponder where we're going, and as we pursue Your will. May we walk with You in such a way that our obedience is revealed through deeds that honor Your name . . . even when that means doing the hard things You want us to do.

For those who are in a difficult strait, under pressure, up against a wall, facing a test—perhaps the greatest in their lives—we ask that You remind them that the saint who advances on his or her knees never retreats. Help them remember that You are still on Your throne and they are still at Your footstool . . . with only a knee's distance between the two of you.

May we all become people who pray. May we also learn to leave the burden with You, rather than pick it up and carry it with us after claiming that we're trusting You. Right now, Lord, take the burden. We cast it upon You, knowing that You’re better able to handle it than we ever will be. We ask that this time of prayer might make a difference in the balance of this day . . . which we commit to You now, in the name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.

See also Psalm 40:1; Mark 1:35-39; 1 Timothy 2:1; James 1:17; 5:13; 1 Peter 5:7.

Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 1, Copyright © 2010 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.